Through the early part of the season, Troy Tulowitzki has been uncharacteristically shaky in the field. Typically one of the best defensive players in the game, the Rockies shortstop committed six errors all of last season and won his second straight Gold Glove. Through only 11 games this season, Tulowitzki has already tied last year’s total and is six errors away from posting a career high with 151 games left to play. The problem, he admits, is in his head.
“I’m taking the field and thinking about it,” Tulowitzki said after being held out of the lineup Wednesday according to MLB.com. “I never thought about defense. I just go out there and play, and if I make an error, I made an error. But I wasn’t worried about it. So, yeah, I think about it. It’s in my head. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t in my head. I think about it because I care.”
Perhaps a day off will serve him well. Tulowitzki obviously isn’t going to continue on his current pace, or he’d finish the season with nearly 100 errors. We know that isn’t going to happen. Veteran teammate Jason Giambi says he has been there before and understands how a few errors can start to weigh on a player mentally.
“I showed him some highlights of him playing and said, ‘That’s you.’” Giambi said. “I said, ‘I know. I’ve been there many times, the deer in the highlights look and you’re just reeling.’ He’ll get through this just great. He’ll be fine.”
So much of defense is being confident that you can get to every ball and make every throw, and Tulowitzki is missing that element of his game right now. Given his history, I suspect he will rediscover it sooner rather than later.
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